The Sept. 1 opening of dove season is fast approaching. While a
blistering summer may have punished crops and people, mourning
doves seem to thrive in hot, dry weather. Reports from many parts
of the state suggest ample numbers of this elusive, fast-flying
Although the mourning dove is the primary quarry, Kansas hunters
enjoy pursuing four species of doves in split fall and winter
seasons. The season for all doves runs Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and Nov.
5-13. During these segments, two native species (mourning and
white-winged doves) as well as two exotic species (Eurasian
collared and ringed turtle doves) may be taken. In addition, an
exotic species season runs Nov. 20-Feb. 28, 2012. During this time,
only Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves may be taken.
To enhance public hunting opportunities, the Kansas Department
of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) manages fields specifically
to attract doves. Dove fields may include standing or mowed
sunflowers, unharvested strips of wheat and burned crop stubble,
mowed wheat, mixed plantings, or any combination of techniques.
Some areas have restricted hunting dates or times, and others
may be restricted to youth, novice, and/or disabled hunters. Some
may also require hunters using managed dove fields to obtain and
complete a daily hunt permit or obtain access through a drawing.
Others are open to the general public. Fields within waterfowl
management areas require non-toxic shot only.
Use the KDWPT website, www.kdwpt.state.ks.us, to find details on
areas specially managed for doves. Click “Hunting/Migratory
Birds/Doves/Managed Hunting Areas” for details on the nearest
managed dove area.
Hunters are reminded that there are no bag and possession limits
for Eurasian collared doves and ringed turtle doves. However,
during the regular dove season – Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 and Nov.
5-13 – if the take of exotic doves exceeds a hunter’s daily bag of
15 mourning and white-winged doves (single species or in
combination), the exotic doves must be transported with a
fully-feathered wing attached. The possession limit for mourning
and white-winged doves is 30.
On Aug. 11, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission
will approve final regulations for ducks and geese. Once that
action is complete, KDWPT can post the 2011 Kansas Hunting and
Furharvesting Regulations Summary on the agency’s website where
hunters can go online to learn more about identifying dove species.
Click “Hunting/Hunting Regulations” to view or download this
booklet, which has all the information needed for hunting doves,
including color pictures of the doves that may be legally taken.
Information on all other game species is included, as well.
Doves are excellent table fare. Whether wrapped in bacon and
grilled, baked in a pie, or skewered for shish-ka-bobs, this game
bird is a favorite of many. But don’t wait until Sept. 1 to get
ready. Hunters should be scouting areas and obtaining permission on
private ground or planning for a public land hunt now. Shooting
clay targets for a couple of weeks will save shells once the season
opens, but stock up on shells anyway; this is one of the most
difficult game birds to hit. These things done, all that remains is
knowing the law and cleaning the grill.
Printed copies of the 2011 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting
Regulations Summary, as well as the Kansas Hunting Atlas, will be
available where licenses are sold the first week in September.